Mathematics predicting physics

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  • Thread starter CRichard
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Hi everyone. I was wondering, just out of curiosity, what are some examples of physicists using mathematics to make physical predictions that are later verified by experiment? I'm not a student of physics, but I've heard of how Maxwell used mathematics to calculate the velocity of a postulated electromagnetic wave and found out that it coincided with the speed of light. That prediction is amazing to me, how just building from known physics laws (derived from experiment), the use of mathematical tools like calculus allowed physicists to make predictions that are completely unexpected and counterintuitive, but that actually describe reality. Are there other great physical discoveries that have been predicted by mathematical models beforehand, rather than directly discovered by experiment?

Actually, not limited to just physics, do you have any favorite unexpected discoveries in any science (biological, chemical, etc.) that have been predicted by mathematical models before being discovered experimentally?
 

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  • #3
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Elementary particles eg Higgs.
 
  • #5
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Every synthetic molecule, black holes.
 
  • #6
Chronos
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There is good reason for the saying 'mathematics is the language of science'. This may be of interest; https://arxiv.org/abs/1111.6560,https://arxiv.org/abs/1111.6560,Mathematics [Broken]Mathematics : The Language of Science
 
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Bad link methinks.
 
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Chronos
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repaired
 
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